June 21, 2009

Father's Day

I want to tell you guys a story about my dad.

You see, he's the best dad in the world, and I'm having a pretty hard time narrowing down the field. Should I tell you about the time I stayed out too late and instead of coming home to a fight (which I was expecting) I came home to a man who was quietly reading a book by the lamplight? And as I walked in the house, he looked up, took off his glasses, said "Well, I'm glad you're safe." Then he stood up, gave me the tightest of hugs and said "I always worry about you. Good night, I love you."

Or should I tell you about the one time when I wasn't getting along with a few leaders in a church group. And instead of telling me to respect my elders he said, "I know. I get it. Some people never get past high school. You have to be the grown up instead." And then he hugged me and said he loved me.

Or the other time, when I was in the midst of a postpartum break down, and I called him sobbing in the middle of the night. I was sure the DadGuy hated me. And he came, with my mother, and together, they helped me to see that I was living in my own little world, full of my own personal demons, and this world that was crumbling before my eyes, was NOT REAL. They helped me to see the proverbial light, and coordinated help and care for the next couple of weeks until I was "back to normal" for lack of better words.

You see, my dad is my hero.

He was pretty patient with all of us kids. He expected a lot from us, and he wanted us to be smart. He worked my whole life, to give us something better. He went to school at night, and finally finished grad school in 2000. We graduated together. My dad has a wicked sense of humor, and has perfected the art of the eye roll.

My dad is charming. Much to the detriment of his family. You see, my dad? Can talk for HOURS. Every Sunday after church, we'd be waiting in the car, and he'd be chatting to everyone with ears. He has a knack for storytelling, and has a great laugh.

He's busy. He has to be doing something at all times. His yard is immaculate, the garden is overflowing, his orchard is coveted by the neighborhood. My parents house is a perpetual construction site. There's always something that could be fixed, or tweaked, or otherwise improved. He knows off the top of his head which hardware store carries that hard to find bolt, and I'm pretty sure he's taught the guys at Home Depot a thing or two about the proper way to fix a toilet.

He's strong. Not in just the physical sense either. You can see how much he loves the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's in everything that he does. From the way he treats my mother, to the way he's taught his children, he's a force of light. He lives his life loving God, his family, and his life. He'll smile through the rough times, and is so grateful for the peaceful times. He's a great source of strength to me.

My dad loves his grandbabies. He's like a gentle giant around them. He will throw them in the air, or bounce on the trampoline, he'll play ball, or just get down and wrestle with them. He always takes the time to make moments. And if he's busy on one of those home improvement projects? He'll find a way for them to help. He's taught my kids about drywalling, and how to hold a hammer. He's shown them how to clean a pool, and how to distinguish a weed from a tomato plant. My kids love their grandpa.

My dad is a great man, and the kind of person that I strive to be. Happy Father's Day dad.

(sorry about the lack of pictures showing your face.)